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05.12.20

Links 13/5/2020: Proxmox VE 6.2, FlightGear 2020.1, Kali Linux 2020.2, Coreboot 4.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Yes, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet will run Linux apps

        We’ve had the Lenovo Chromebook Duet here in the office for a few days now. There will be a review forthcoming but an email from a reader prompted me to go ahead and share out the answer to a very crucial question that could be the tablet’s hinge pin for some buyers. Linux Applications.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • This Week in Linux 103: XRdesktop, 700% Increase to Linux Marketshare, Firefox, MNT Reform

        00:58 = DLN Patrons Chat Live Stream Announcement · [Timezone Converter]
        01:37 = Sponsored by Digital Ocean · [do.co/dln]
        02:26 = xrdesktop 0.14 with OpenXR Support · [collabora.com]
        06:23 = Firefox 76.0 Released · [mozilla.org]
        11:49 = Manjaro Linux + Star Labs Linux Laptops · [starlabs.systems]
        15:49 = MNT Reform: DIY Open Laptop · [crowdsupply.com]
        23:47 = herbstluftwm 0.8.2 Released · [herbstluftwm.org]
        27:50 = NOAFtodo: ncurses TODO-manager · [github.com]
        30:46 = Front Page Linux · [Links: frontpagelinux.com, Linux++, Lenovo + Fedora Thinkpads]
        33:12 = Destination Linux · [Links: destinationlinux.org, DL171, DL172, DL173]
        34:56 = Become a Patron of TuxDigital & TWinL · [tuxdigital.com/contribute]
        36:19 = Linux Marketshare 7x Increase Last Month · [techradar.com]
        39:54 = LGW Interview with Ell, GIMP Core Developer · [libregraphicsworld.org]
        41:25 = Netherlands & Munich to use “Public Code” · [Links: fsfe.org (Munich), fsfe.org (Netherlands)]
        51:26 = Humble Bundle Bonanza
        56:17 = Outro

      • Talk Python to Me Episode #264: 10 tips every Flask developer should know

        Are you a web developer who uses Flask? It has become the most popular Python web framework. Even if you have used it for years, I bet we cover at least one thing that will surprise you and make your Flask code better.

        Join me as I speak with Miguel Grinberg about his top 10 list for tips and tricks in the Flask world. They’re great!

      • LHS Episode #344: Slashdotted

        Hello and welcome to Episode 344 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the Contest University, learning Morse Code, virtual online club meetings, 6-meter season, open-source N95 masks, WSJT-X, BSD, Solaris…what the??? Anyway, hope you enjoy the episode, stay home, stay safe and play amateur radio and open source.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD relaunch their GPUOpen website and expand the open source FidelityFX toolkit

          AMD have given their GPUOpen website, a place that hosts various resources for game developers with open source and open standards at its heart, a new look.

          GPUOpen originally went live a few years ago in 2016, with an aim to have a single place to collect all sorts of developer-focused materials. These are spread across tools, tutorials, code samples and more all while keeping everything under open licenses.

        • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 440.66.14 released

          NVIDIA have released a brand new Vulkan Beta Driver for Linux which pulls in another Ray Tracing extension and some bug fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Linux Performance Is Very Good

        Since AMD Renoir laptops began shipping some weeks ago, I’ve been on the hunt for an interesting laptop to pick up for Linux testing and to potentially even use as my next main production laptop. Given the successes of AMD Zen 2 on the desktop and server front, I’ve been very eager to try out a Renoir laptop and last week picked up a Lenovo IdeaPad with Ryzen 7 4700U and the experience so far has been very good and with captivating Linux performance.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Cyberpunk point and click ‘VirtuaVerse’ is out now and looks incredible

        VirtuaVerse looks shockingly good and has an awesome soundtrack to go along with it and it’s out now with same-day Linux support from Theta Division.

        Possibly one of the most stylish point and click adventures I’ve seen in some time, and an incredibly intriguing setting too. Set in a “future not-so-far-away” because nothing seems impossible anymore, society has migrated over to the virtual world across a single neural network that sounds horrifying. You play as Nathan, an outsider living off-the-grid on a quest to find a missing girlfriend.

      • The Humble Indie Bundle 21 launches to mark the tenth anniversary

        To mark the tenth anniversary, the team over at Humble have now launched the Humble Indie Bundle 21 with some wonderful Linux games included. Hard to imagine it was ten years ago that the first bundle appeared, back when it was run by Wolfire Games and later spun into its own company.

      • Get ready to be a viking in Valheim, Beta sign-ups are open

        Valheim can’t come soon enough, a survival & exploration with a fantasy theme inspired by norse mythology and viking culture and you can get in early. The developer, Iron Gate AB, has today opened a Closed Beta period and anyone can sign up for it.

        They previously put up a very early Alpha available on itch.io, which admittedly I put quite a bit of time into and ended up enjoying it a lot. It ends up being quite a pretty game too, although it does have a slightly odd graphical style mixing lower resolution texturing with some advanced techniques and great lighting that all work together to give it a unique feel.

      • FlightGear 2020.1 released

        The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the 2020.1 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This version is a preview of our next stable release, containing many new features and improvements.

        Enhancements since 2019.1 include the inclusion of the Compositor graphical rendering framework as a separate pre-built binary, better aircraft carrier support, improvements to both the JSBSim and YASim flight dynamics models, better view options, more efficient and improved OpenStreetMap buildings and translation of the UI into Polish and Slovak. Here’s the complete list of changes.

      • FlightGear 2020.1 Released For This Open-Source Flight Simulator

        FlightGear 2020.1 is out as the newest release to this long-running project providing an open-source flight simulator.

        With FlightGear 2020.1 it includes the Compositor graphical rendering framework as a separate pre-built library, better support for aircraft carriers, improvements to flight dynamics models for JSBSim and YASim, better view options, improvements around its OpenStreetMap integration, and a variety of other changes as outlined via the change-log.

      • Indie Monster-Collecting RPG Cassette Beasts Announced for PC, Linux, and Nintendo Switch

        Bytten Studio have announced monster-collecting RPG Cassette Beasts.

        Players journey across the open-world of the island of New Wirral, capturing over 120 monsters and turning them into cassette tapes to transform themselves and allies. Some monsters even grant abilities while exploring as a human that aid in exploration and puzzles.

        Players can also fuse with human allies and their monster forms in battle, creating one of over 1,400 powerful forms for battle. The stronger a bond they have with an ally, the better the result.

      • With crazy action and excellent visuals ‘Fury Unleashed’ is out now and there’s a free Prologue

        Fury Unleashed is an action platformer with a seriously good art style from developer Awesome Games Studio, it’s out in full now and they added Linux support just before release too.

        Mixing in what the developer loved about Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy, with the intensity of classics like Contra and Metal Slug it definitely looks the part. There’s some serious action sequences in it and it looks brilliant. The idea is that you’re blasting your way through an ever-changing comic book, with ink you collect from enemies being your most valuable resource and each room acts like a comic panel.

      • Zombie survival RPG ‘Dead Age’ is now available DRM-free on GOG

        Silent Dreams and Headup have just recently put up their Zombie survival RPG, Dead Age, up on GOG so anyone can now grab this positively rated game DRM-free. Originally released back in 2016, GOG are a bit late on the uptake with this one but good things come to those who wait.

        Survive the zombie apocalypse with turn-based combat and permanent death! Manage survivors, go on dangerous scavenging runs, build alliances, craft equipment, make difficult story-influencing decisions, defend your camp against undead hordes and experience non-linear rogue-lite elements. An innovative Indie Survival-RPG!

      • Space command sim PULSAR: Lost Colony gains a much improved AI and new sectors

        PULSAR: Lost Colony is a co-op spaceship command sim, one where you and friends can each take a dedicated role and it just got much better for solo players.

        Beta 29 released last Friday, May 8, which overhauled how the AI works both for you and enemies. Leafy Games mentioned how the AI has been enhanced to be capable of charging programs, patrolling sectors and even launching nukes. AI priorities and behaviours got a big boost too. As an example, if you have an AI engineer to fill a slot in your crew it can now lower shields, eject the reactor core and more. The Scientist AI can also now do extras like running a sensor sweep.

        There’s also new sectors you can explore, and new Beacon item that may spawn into some sectors that’s supposed to help mix-up the space combat. These beacons can either help or hinder you as they do a variety of things from improving your boost to disabling cloaking tech. You can destroy them if they annoy you too.

      • Railway Empire goes to the southern hemisphere in the Down Under DLC out now

        G’day! Gaming Minds Studios and Kalypso Media continue expanding their building sim Railway Empire, with a big new DLC pack out now that visits the sun-scorched plains of the Australian outback.

        Not only did it get a big new DLC, they also released a free update for everyone which includes bug fixes and optimizations for signal-controlled stations it also added a whole new challenge map ‘Thunder Across the prairie’.

      • One Dreamer: Prologue, a narrative adventure about a failed VR game developer needs some Linux testing

        Developer Gareth Ffoulkes is currently working on One Dreamer, a narrative story adventure about an indie game developer suffering burnout. There’s a Prologue and it now has a Linux Beta that needs some testing.

        One Dreamer: Prologue is the story of a failed VR game developer who inadvertently inspired two young kids to follow in his footsteps. Program objects, solve coding puzzles and discover the reason why Frank became a game dev in this emotional, English voiced prologue of One Dreamer.

      • DOOM 64 is now available to stream on Google Stadia

        Google have added another game to their Linux-powered streaming service, with DOOM 64 now officially available. Already available on other stores and services, it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64 and was given a new life with an updated version with help from Nightdive Studios.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Jean Lima Andrade: GSoC 2020 – Community bonding introduction

          Hi! Today, I am bringing some good news. The Google Summer of Code 2020 results were announced and I was accepted as a student!

          I am excited and grateful for this opportunity that KDE community has given to me and I will focus to do an excellent work during this project.

        • Akonadi / KMail and Google accounts resolved!

          Since I wrote about this back in january we have still had the occasional inquiry about the state of Kontact, KMail and Akonadi with regards to Google’s GMail service. The wheels over there grind very slowly, it seems, but eventually manage to make a full turn.

          Dan Vrátil tells me that KMail can log into GMail again using OAuth, and this should become available to everyone automatically, no action to be taken.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Neville Antony: Introduction

          Hello everyone! I’m Neville and I’m an all-things-computer enthusiast. And this is my my blog where I tell the tales of my journey into open source!!

          I’ve always been interested to be part of the open source community and to contribute to the countless cool projects. Now that I’ve started contributing to open source projects it feels very exciting to be part of it! The community is very nice and helpful. And I feel like I’m learning a lot in the process. And there’s a whole journey ahead me.

        • Its Happening!!

          I will be working on GNOME Games. It’s a video game launcher + emulator for several video game platforms. My work is to implement game collections which will allow users to create, view and manage user creatable and auto generatable collection of games (like albums in photo viewers). Games is mostly written in Vala, and is packaged as flatpak. You can get it from here.

        • Kavan Mevada: Finally Landed on Planet GNOME

          Hi to the people of planet GNOME!

          Should I start with a deep introduction? Not sure! Okay, let me start from my first time with Linux. I installed my first Linux when I was around 17, It was OpenSUSE. I just burned iso and booted, HAHAHA It was a magnetic disk era. After some years I was getting deep into Linux. I consider Linux as an Icecream. Lots of flavors to eat. Eat whatever you like. Or make your own flavor. 4-5 years ago I was jumping over multiple distros. I tried multiple linux distros. But now I’m settled on a custom build Debian distro. My first encounter with GNOME was on Fedora. I still love Fedora. But Debian is ultra-fast with only selected packages and easy to make its flavor. This is my short Linux story.

          This year I’m selected into GSOC. Yay. well, the fun part is Its GNOME. I applied in only one Org. from the list, cause It was GNOME or nothing.

          I was connected to one of my mentor month before GSOC start. He told me to fix some newcomers’ issues on GitLab. That was my first contribution to GNOME.

    • Distributions

      • The best Linux distributions for beginners


        When you want to try Linux, a question comes to mind: which distribution to choose. There are hundreds of different Linux distributions, but here we will try to demonstrate which ones are best to start with. “Linux” is actually a kernel, the core of the operating system .
        The graphical desktop, command line utilities, and other parts of the system are separate projects. Linux distributions use open source applications from different projects and combine them into a complete operating system ready to install and enjoy.

        Linux distributions are very easy to test. Just download them and use a tool to create a USB drive or burn a bootable DVD. You can then restart your computer and boot from the removable media to use the Linux distribution in “portable” mode.

        In this way, Linux will run from the boot device without affecting the previously installed system. If you decide to install the Linux distribution, you can do it from the portable environment.

        Experts emphasize that there is no such thing as “Linux”, but rather a multitude of variants, some of which are suitable for beginners – and others less so.

      • Reviews

        • Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: Best Ubuntu based Linux Distribution

          Pop! OS is a fairly new Ubuntu-based Linux desktop distribution, developed by American computer manufacturer System76. System76 created Pop! OS to use on its hardware lineup as a pre-loaded OS. However, due to its customizations, the built-in driver support – it gained popularity and it is arguably the best Ubuntu-based distribution today.

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Release



          Despite the turmoil in the world, we are thrilled to be bringing you an awesome update with Kali Linux 2020.2! And it is available for immediate download.

          With XFCE and GNOME having had a Kali Linux look and feel update, it’s time to go back to our roots (days of backtrack-linux) and give some love and attention to KDE Plasma. Introducing our dark and light themes for KDE Plasma…

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Released with GNOME 3.36, Dark and Light Themes for KDE Plasma
        • Q4OS 3.11 Centaurus, stable

          A significant update to Q4OS 3 Centaurus LTS is immediately available for download. The new 3.11 series receives all the fixes and goodies from the recent Debian Buster 10.4 update, critical security and bug fixes and brings several Q4OS specific improvements. Most importantly, the Q4OS Software centre applications list has got a bunch of new items. National keyboard layout configuration has been enhanced. In addition to the above, Q4OS 3.11 brings other exciting enhancements, such as dedicated installers for Firefox 76 and Palemoon browsers as well as cumulative upgrade covering all changes since the previous stable version of Q4OS 3 Centaurus.

          Current users only need to perform regular update to get all of the new features. Anyone can download installation media images from the Downloads section of the Q4OS website.

      • BSD

        • WireGuard for OpenBSD Kernel Patches Posted
          Hey folks,
          
          I'm delighted to announce that Matt has posted his OpenBSD kernel port
          to the OpenBSD mailing list:
          
          https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=158926407905492&w=2
          
          
          https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=158926356005344&w=2
          
          We've worked together closely on this for a long time, and I think
          this is a high quality implementation with a lot of the same security
          design principles as our Linux implementation. In a way, WireGuard's
          minimalism fits into and was inspired by OpenBSD's overall design
          philosophy. Looking forward to seeing how things pan out on the
          mailing list there; I'm optimistic.
          
          Users can try this out early by following the directions at:
          
          https://git.zx2c4.com/wireguard-openbsd/about/
          
          Regards,
          Jason
          
        • WireGuard Ported To The OpenBSD Kernel – Looking For Upstream Inclusion

          With the WireGuard secure VPN tunnel having been upstreamed in the Linux 5.6 kernel, developer attention recently turned to OpenBSD and porting the very promising VPN technology to its kernel.

          Jason Donenfeld and Matt Dunwoodie announced WireGuard for the OpenBSD kernel and posted the patches this week for review.

        • OpenZFS 0.8.4 Released With Support Through Linux 5.6, Bug Fixes

          OpenZFS / ZFS On Linux 0.8.4 is out as the latest update to this leading open-source ZFS file-system base for Linux and FreeBSD and coming together as well for macOS.

          With OpenZFS 0.8.4, Linux kernel compatibility is from Linux 2.6.32 now up through Linux 5.6 as well as early work on Linux 5.7 support, compared to the prior release tapping out at 5.4.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Open source subscription-based models will become more appealing: Red Hat

          The Red Hat Training & Certification is delivering live virtual training classes, extended timelines for using Red Hat Training Units and the exam window by three months for those who are not in a position to cancel or reschedule previously scheduled classes or exams.

        • IBM Cloud Now: IBM Cloud Satellite, Financial-Services Ready Public Cloud, and 5G and Edge
        • The TCO of virtualizing RAN in mobile operator infrastructures

          Mobile 3D gaming apps, autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, remote surgery, smart cars, and smart cities – mobile operators’ 5G network architectures are preparing to enable these and other advanced wireless use cases as they come available. 5G supports high-speed, low power and very low-latency connectivity to fulfill the potential of many scenarios, delivered with automation and the required performance on cloud-native distributed architectures.

          Communications service providers (CSPs) have big decisions to make as the service capacity of their mobile networks grows and their plans for 5G architecture take shape. Virtualized system infrastructures will be increasingly critical – from centralized core operating sites to the enterprise edge and radio access network (RAN) application sites.

      • Debian Family

        • Proxmox VE 6.2 released

          Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox VE 6.2, the latest version of the open-source virtualization management platform. Proxmox VE 6.2 includes new features aimed at addressing issues facing modern datacenter administrators and IT teams. The new version of the virtualization management solution comes with a lot of new features, notable improvements, and many advanced options for the web-based user interface. It’s based on Debian Buster 10.4 and a 5.4 longterm Linux kernel and includes updates to the latest versions of the leading open-source virtualization technologies QEMU 5.0, LXC 4.0, Ceph Nautilus (14.2.9), and ZFS 0.8.3.

        • Proxmox VE 6.2 Released With Zstd Backups, Live Migration With ZFS Storage Replication

          Version 6.2 of the Proxmox VE open-source virtualization environment has been released for this web-based, easy-to-use solution.

          Proxmox VE 6.2 is based on the newly-released Debian 10.4 while pulling in the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel, QEMU 5.0, LXC 4.0, and other updated software components including OpenZFS 0.8.3.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04 Unofficial Flavor Sees First Stable Release



          Rudra Saraswat, a member of the Ubuntu community has been working hard in the past few months to put together a special flavor of Ubuntu with Unity 7 as default desktop environment.

          He calls it Ubuntu Unity Remix, and it brings good old memories to those of us who have used Ubuntu for a long time.

          Built in-house by Canonical and based on the GNOME desktop environment, Unity has been the default desktop interface of Ubuntu for about six years.

          The first Ubuntu release with Unity by default was Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) and the last one was Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark).

        • MediaWiki packages for Ubuntu 20.04 Focal available

          Packages for the MediaWiki 1.31 LTS release are now available for the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” release in my PPA. Please let me know if you run into any errors or issues.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Announcing coreboot 4.12

        Since 4.11 there were 2692 new commits by over 190 developers and of these, 59 contributed for the first time, which is quite an amazing increase.

        Thank you to all developers who again helped made coreboot better than ever, and a big welcome to our new contributors!

      • Coreboot 4.12 Released – Drops Older Intel / AMD Platforms

        Coreboot 4.12 is out today as the latest version of this open-source BIOS / system firmware implementation that saw more than 2,600 commits since the previous release.

        Coreboot 4.12 drops 51 motherboards while adding in just 49. Most of the new motherboards are for different Chrome OS devices but there is also new System76 laptop support and additions from the Open Compute Project too.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 76 for Windows, Mac, Linux Brings Better Password Security and Enhanced Zoom Support

            Mozilla brought Firefox 76 for Windows, macOS, and Linux with new features and bug fixes on Tuesday. With the latest update of the Firefox Web browser, Firefox is making the protection of online account logins and passwords stronger. Firefox will display critical alerts in its Lockwise password manager if a saved website is breached. Moreover, if any of your accounts are involved in the breach and you have used the same password elsewhere, the Firefox will prompt you to change the password. You will also be able to use the Zoom app on Firefox now without any additional downloads.

            Firefox has brought several changes and additions in the update. In addition to the features mentioned above, Firefox has also made the login credentials safer for users who share their devices with others. It will now require a login to your operating system account before showing your saved passwords. Firefox has expanded Lockwise’s ability to generate complex passwords for more websites. The update by Firefox around securing login credentials is quite timely as there has been a surge in people staying online while working from home.

          • [Old] David Bryant: Why WebAssembly is a game changer for the web — and a source of pride for Mozilla and Firefox

            With today’s release of Firefox, we are the first browser to support WebAssembly. If you haven’t yet heard of WebAssembly, it’s an emerging standard inspired by our research to enable near-native performance for web applications.

            WebAssembly is one of the biggest advances to the Web Platform over the past decade.

            This new standard will enable amazing video games and high-performance web apps for things like computer-aided design, video and image editing, and scientific visualization. Over time, many existing productivity apps (e.g. email, social networks, word processing) and JavaScript frameworks will likely use WebAssembly to significantly reduce load times while simultaneously improving performance while running. Unlike other approaches that have required plug-ins to achieve near-native performance in the browser, WebAssembly runs entirely within the Web Platform. This means that developers can integrate WebAssembly libraries for CPU-intensive calculations (e.g. compression, face detection, physics) into existing web apps that use JavaScript for less intensive work.

          • Mozilla Launches Hubs Cloud

            Mozilla’s Mixed Reality group launches a cloud version of Mozilla Hubs, their social space for virtual reality gatherings.

            With Hubs Cloud, organisations can now deploy and customize their own instance of Mozilla Hubs. It is available on the AWS Marketplace and manages all necessary AWS resources. There are two versions available: personal and enterprise. The difference between the two is that personal manages one server, and enterprise manages multiple servers and optionally a dedicated content streaming server. The benefits of managing your own Hubs Cloud are that you can customize the rooms for uptime and concurrency in case you are hosting a big event. It also allows you to keep sensitive data inside your company’s network.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • An Elasticsearch and Kibana-based dashboard for COVID-19

          Looking back to the start of the year, we could never have predicted what would befall our world as a result of COVID-19. Back then, the coronavirus was spreading in China, and while there were warnings of its potential to escalate across the world, few could imagine the tremendous shift it would bring to the status quo.

          Today, we find ourselves living in a new normal. Working from home has become standard, the global economy is uncertain, hospitals are working harder than ever, and the world is waiting for a vaccine to provide reassurance that we can stop social distancing.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Online development CI accessible via the internet

          Recently the CI (continuous integration) infrastructure for Online has been made accessible via the internet. Now developers from outside Collabora can directly check the status of their patches and builds.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 is ready for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan ) being LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 the first pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since then, 6213 commits have been submitted to the code repository and more than 1200 bugs set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

        • LibreOffice is a hot target for the Google Season of Docs 2020

          For the second year in a row, The Document Foundation has been accepted as an organization in the Google Season of Docs, a programme whose goals are to give technical writers an opportunity to participate in contributing to open source projects, and to give open source projects an opportunity to engage the technical writing community.

          This year we offer a wide range of projects for technical writers, and we’re extending the reach by providing projects for e-learning, mathematical documentation and code-oriented documentation.

          During the programme, technical writers will spend a few months working closely with the LibreOffice community, bringing their technical writing expertise to the project’s documentation, and at the same time learning about the open source project and new technologies. Similarly, LibreOffice documentation team members will work with the technical writers to improve the project’s documentation and processes.

        • LibreOffice Tuesday T&T: Windows Installation Issues

          According to our estimates, worldwide there are around 150 million LibreOffice users on Windows. And when we say worldwide we mean worldwide, as according to the origin of downloads we have users in every continent including Antarctica.

          As a consequence, we get a large amount of questions related to LibreOffice on Windows. Many of these questions are about the installation process, because there are several issues which prevent the user to get the expected positive user experience. Unfortunately, the majority of these questions are related to Windows issues and not to LibreOffice issues.

        • Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker’s Office 2021 beta may have a solution [Ed: Microsoft Tim promoting proprietary software and OOXML]

          SoftMaker’s Office 2021 – a cross-platform office suite that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux – has hit public beta.

          SoftMaker Office features the classic trio of products: word processor (TextMaker), spreadsheet (PlanMaker), and presentation graphics (Presentations). It has been around for 30 years; this new version replaces SoftMaker Office 2018.

          The suite comes in two guises, FreeOffice and a commercial version. The commercial version has additional features including customisable ribbons, document tabs, thesaurus, better spell checking, SVG image support, mail merge, charts, and VBA-like macros (full details of the differences are here). A permanent licence costs £44.90 per year for the full version, or £24.90 per year for a (only slightly) cut-down Home version.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Public Hackathons +++ Munich supports Public Code +++ New Podcasts

            In recent weeks we have seen many hackathons that have been organised to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, many of them have been organised by governments and other public bodies who are hosting or funding these hackathons. As with our “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign, at the FSFE we demand that software resulting from publicly funded hackathons can be re-used globally by publishing it under a Free Software license.

            Especially in a time when humanity needs to work together to find solutions for a crisis, we cannot afford to reinvent the wheel again and again for software that helps us contain the spread of COVID-19. Global problems need global solutions! It is Free Software that enables global cooperation for code development. Any proprietary solution will inevitably lead to countless isolated solutions and will waste energy and time which we as humanity cannot afford in such a critical situation.

            [...]

            In an open letter to the Parliament, the Dutch minister for internal affairs, Raymond Knops, commits to a “Free Software by default” policy and underlines its benefits for society. A rewording of current market regulations shall be proposed to allow publishing of Free Software by the government.

        • GNU Projects

          • Top 6 GIMP Plugins to Use in 2020

            GIMP started as a semester project by two fellows at the University of California in the year 1995. In its initial days, it was called General Image Manipulation Program, but later, got renamed to GNU Image Manipulation Program. For those unaware, GNU or GNU’s Not Unix is an operating system comprising of a collection of various free software and projects, licensed under the GNU project.

          • Denemo News: Release 2.4 imminent – please test!
            New Features 
                    Omission Criteria 
                        A lightweight alternative to Score Layouts 
                        A single flag turns on/off features of the score 
                    Swing Playback 
                        Playback with altered note durations 
                        Use for Jazz swing and note inègales 
                    Page Turner/Annotater 
                        Annotate while playing from digital score 
                        Page turn digital score from pedals 
                    New from Current 
                        Create a new score using the current one as template 
                        Use for books of songs, sonatas etc to keep style uniform 
            Bug Fixes 
                    Easier object edit interface 
                    After Grace command now fully automatic 
                    Crash on Windows during delete measure all staffs 
                    Template save bugs fixed 
                    Assign Instrument command in score with voices fixed. 
            No messages in Release 2.4 imminent - please test!
            
          • Guix welcomes Outreachy and GSoC interns

            We are thrilled to announce that three people will join Guix as interns over the next few months!

      • Programming/Development

        • Eclipse Foundation Moving to Brussels

          The Eclipse Foundation will begin to transition its headquarters from Ottawa to Brussels as part of an effort to advance international expansion. The Foundation plans to establish a new legal entity sometime in July, with personnel relocating or added to a Brussels office over time.

        • Total Eclipse to depart: Open-source software foundation is hopping the pond to Europe

          The Eclipse Foundation today unveiled plans to make itself a little more European with a jump into Brussels.

          The outfit already has a European office, in the form of the wholly owned subsidiary in Germany, Eclipse Foundation Europe GmBH. Today’s move is a little more major (although won’t involve moving bottoms from Ottawa seats to something a bit more Belgian just yet).

          Executive director Mike Milinkovich told The Register: “This is about re-domiciling the legal entity that controls The Eclipse Foundation from the US to Europe.”

          The timing could be considered unfortunate, what with one thing and another, although there are no plans to move staffers around. Milinkovich said a small office might be opened in Brussels at some point in 2021, but cautioned that “all of these sorts of things need to be linked to growth.” In the meantime, the foundation would make do with a Brussels mailing address.

          As for what the Eclipse Foundation will get from re-domiciling, Milinkovich highlighted the contributions made from European countries. Commits from Germany and France account for a shade over 30 per cent of the total, with the US coming in at 12.7 per cent. “Europeans,” he said, “want to operate under European law and Europeans want to have at least one open-source foundation that is distinctly European.

        • Open Source Software Leader the Eclipse Foundation Announces Transition to Europe as Part of Continued Global Expansion
        • Mike Milinkovich: Eclipse Theia and VS Code differences explained

          Eclipse Theia 1.0 arrived at the end of March. The open source extensible platform combines some of the best features of IDEs, so we took a closer look to find out what sets it apart from Microsoft’s source code editor Visual Studio Code. In this article, you will learn more about Eclipse Theia’s licensing, architecture, and more.
          After we announced the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0 and published a blog about it, we received a number of questions about the differences between Theia and Visual Studio (VS) Code and why we’re calling Theia “a true open source alternative” to VS Code. Here are some clarifications I hope will help people understand the differences between the two and the value of Theia.

        • Intel’s Load Hardening Mitigation Merged Into LLVM 11 For LVI Protection

          Intel’s Load Value Injection mitigation has finally been merged into mainline LLVM.

          LLVM was disclosed back in March and while the GNU Assembler mitigation was quickly merged, on the LLVM compiler toolchain side it took until yesterday for the patch to be squared away in full.

          This Intel-developed mitigation is of similar nature to the GAS patch. When enabled, a load fence (LFENCE) is added after each instruction that may be vulnerable to LVI as well as warning over code that cannot be automatically mitigated.

        • Wanna be a developer? Your coworkers want to learn Go and like to watch, er, Friends and Big Bang Theory

          Google’s Go programming language, all but disallowed by the web giant’s own Fuchsia team for its excessive memory consumption, tops developers’ to-do lists. That’s according to a survey by tech talent platform HackerEarth.

          At the end of last week, the biz released data gathered from 16,000 programmers, more than 20 per cent of them women, in 76 countries. Its survey found that 29 per cent of students and 32 per cent of working professional developers wanted to learn Go.

          That appears to jibe with a recent Hired survey that found Go was the most sought after language by employers, and that only seven per cent of developers cited Go as their primary coding language. If companies are looking to hire Go developers, sooner or later, prospective employees can be expected to get the message.

          The HackerEarth data also indicates that SQL is the most widely known language by professional developers (52 per cent), followed by Java (50 per cent), HTML/CSS (46 per cent), Python (40 per cent), Java 8 (39 per cent), C++ (36 per cent), JavaScript/Node.js (34 per cent), and Bash/Shell/PowerShell (19 per cent).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 060: Excel Column And Find Numbers

            This seemed like a simple base 10 to base 26 conversion and back. I started by installing Math::Base::Convert, Math::BaseConvert, Math::BaseCnv, and Convert::AnyBase to quickly discover they wouldn’t help me much. What Excel uses for column names is a weird 26 digit system that lacks a symbol for zero, but has a symbol for 26 (or for 1026). It’s called the bijective base-26 numeration system. The interesting fact about such systems is that digit addition, subtraction, and multiplication work the same way as in our common system (division is a bit problematic).

            Converting a column name to its number is easy. Start from the left, add the number corresponding to the letter to the result, then multiply it by 26 and continue with the next letter.

        • Python

          • Moving the Program Counter in Wing’s Python Debugger

            This Wing Tip describes how to move the program counter while debugging Python code in Wing Personal and Wing Pro. This is a good way to go back and re-execute previously visited Python code, in order to trace through to the cause of a bug without having to restart the debug process.

          • Improve Your Tests With the Python Mock Object Library

            When you’re writing robust code, tests are essential for verifying that your application logic is correct, reliable, and efficient. However, the value of your tests depends on how well they demonstrate these criteria. Obstacles such as complex logic and unpredictable dependencies make writing valuable tests difficult. The Python mock object library, unittest.mock, can help you overcome these obstacles.

          • Mike Driscoll: Learn How to Log with Python (Video)

            Learn how to use Python’s logging module in this screencast:

            You will learn about the following:

            Creating a log
            Logging Levels
            Logging Handlers
            Logging Formatters
            Logging to Multiple Locations
            and more!

          • Python Pause For User Input

            input() method is used in python 3 for data intake from the user. Sometimes, it requires waiting or pause the input task for a specific period of time for programming purposes. For example, if there is an infinite loop in the script that will terminate based on specific user input, then it will wait for the input from the user in each iteration of the loop. Time module contains sleep() method that can be used to wait a certain period of time in python before taking input. Python contains many other modules to terminate the script based on any key press or pause the execution of the script. How python pause for input can be applied in python script is shown in this article.

          • How to search for data in JSON using python

            One of the most used data serialization technique is JSON format. Python has an in-built module JSON to work with JSON data. It supports all types of primitive data types such as number, string, etc, along with python objects. The data are stored in a structured format in JSON. Sometimes it is required to search a particular data from a large JSON string or a JSON file. There are many ways to search for specific data from JSON data. How JSON data can be searched based on key or value using the python script is shown in this article.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #420 (May 12, 2020)
        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Roman Finger Counting

        I recently wrote a final paper on the history of written numerals. In the process, I discovered this fascinating tidbit that didn’t really fit in my paper, but I wanted to put it somewhere. So I’m writing about it here.

        If I were to ask you to count as high as you could on your fingers you’d probably get up to 10 before running out of fingers. You can’t count any higher than the number of fingers you have, right? The Romans could! They used a place-value system, combined with various gestures to count all the way up to 9,999 on two hands.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Thunderspy attack: How to protect your Mac, Windows or Linux computer from hackers

          The Thunderbolt port used on computers and laptops has been found to have a serious vulnerability, one that allows a hacker to access the contents of your device within minutes.

          The port is a connection made by Intel and Apple that allows for faster data transfer through a physical cable.

          While the hacker will need physical access to your computer, the level of control they would have should they get it is astounding; your device could be encrypted, password-protected, and locked, and yet could still be bypassed in under five minutes.

        • Keybase joins Zoom

          I don’t know what to think of this. I use Zoom and appreciate that they maintain a Linux client, but I know their security and privacy practices are problematic.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Success Story: Linux Training and Certification Helps Advance an Information Security Professional’s Career

                Andreea’s interest in Linux and open source was clear to the scholarship judges, as she already had a few Python projects hosted on GitHub at the time. She was selected as the recipient of a Linux Newbies scholarship, which enabled her to enroll in the Essentials of System Administration training course and to take the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam.

              • Joint Development Foundation Adds a Path for Formal International Standardization
              • Joint Development Foundation Adds a Path for Formal International Standardization

                The JDF’s first PAS submission is for OpenChain, a specification that identifies the key requirements of an open source compliance program. It is designed to build trust between companies in the supply chain while reducing internal resource costs. The outcome is increased trust and consistency in open source software across the supply chain. International standardization will help to guide the evolution of the OpenChain Specification from de facto to de jure standard, a process that will assist procurement, sales and other departments to increasingly engage with OpenChain-related activities.

                “Open source is now a mainstream means of building infrastructure and providing a platform for innovation. While open source development models focus on lowering the barriers to innovate and change, there comes a time when industries decide the next step is to agree on one approach to an issue and work together on that solution,” said Seth Newberry, executive director at Joint Development Foundation. “These de facto standards are just one step away from becoming recognized standards, and JDF provides a path to international recognition as a standard by ISO/IEC JTC 1. This is a key additional capability to further support our open project communities with a path to engage on standards with the worldwide business and industry ecosystems.”

                To become a JTC 1 PAS Submitter, the Joint Development Foundation had to meet a rigorous set of criteria. It was required to demonstrate its process for developing the specifications that are neutral to all of the contributors (no one company may dominate the process); the specification must be developed with sufficient industry participation to ensure that the resulting work is representative of an industry-wide consensus, and the specification must be formed in accordance with standard PAS editing standards so that each specification is easily understood by the readers.

              • Joint Development Foundation recognized as an ISO/IEC JTC 1 PAS submitter and submits OpenChain for international review

                The Linux Foundation itself was formed out of the merger of the Free Standards Group, which maintained the LSB (“Linux Standards Base”) and the Open Source Development Labs. Open standards and open source software have been part of the mission from the very beginning.

                Standards play a role in everyone’s life. Think about the things you touch every day, as simple as a power plug, the USB connector on your phone or laptop, or the WiFi that you use in your business and your home to connect your mobile devices wirelessly. All of these devices need to be able to interoperate with each other.

                A pragmatic and sensible approach to solving interoperability issues would be to create open source software projects everyone can use. However, there are cases where open source software alone will not solve all the implementation challenges that open standards can achieve.

                Open source software in and of itself may not solve particular situations where there will be many implementations in many different device or delivery models (e.g., video codecs or 3D printer designs with many software design tools and many hardware printers and scanners). Still, in other cases, that fragmentation is due to different device capabilities, implementation details, or limitations that open source software cannot resolve alone.

                The design and capacities of many things are defined by industry stakeholders as a standard so that every plug and device is interoperable and capable of the same connectivity. Every country in the world has its own national standards bodies that define the standards it deems necessary, from power transmission, radio spectrum, food safety, and others.

                Not all standards bodies are national standards bodies, with standards organizations coming in many shapes and sizes. Many standards are developed by industry-specific organizations that have a common set of technical objectives and are seeking a common set of use cases, a shared set of key design and performance criteria, and a common test specification to ensure interoperability.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (a2ps and qutebrowser), openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, ghostscript, and python-markdown2), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (chromium-browser, libreswan, and qemu-kvm-ma), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (kernel and libvirt).

          • Ubuntu’s Server Installer Was Mistakenly Leaking Encrypted Storage Passphrase To Its Log

            With the recently released Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the Ubuntu Server installer exclusively uses the “Subiquity” installer that Canonical has been working on in recent years in moving away from the classic Debian Installer. Unfortunately a security issue crept into Subiquity that has now been resolved.

          • U.S. Moves Towards Resolving Permitting US Companies to Collaborate with Huawei on 5G Standards

            Regular readers will know that the addition of Huawei and scores of its subsidiaries to the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List last May has had a serious impact on standards setting organizations (SSOs). Specifically, the related rules bar companies from disclosing certain types of U.S. origin technology to companies on the Entity List, and technology is exactly what is disclosed in the course of standards development. Due to a lack of guidance from the Department of Commerce, SSOs have been left wondering whether they can allow Huawei and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Huawei”) to participate in their technical activities. When they decide that the answer is yes, U.S. companies must then decide whether they read the regulatory tea leaves the same way. Many have not.

            Over the past two weeks the situation has taken a more hopeful turn. The impetus for this change has a lot to do with the law of unexpected consequences – in this case, the results of the Department of Commerce refusing to provide the type of certainly that the private sector needs when political winds shift.

            That uncertainty has led many modern-era consortium SSOs, on the one hand, and a number of traditional, old school SSOs, on the other, to reach different conclusions about whether they can or cannot safely allow Huawei to participate. Many of the consortia concluded that they would need to make radical changes to their technical processes in order to be sure they would fall under one or both of two exemptions that are to a degree analogous – holding open meetings and offering material for publication in journals.

          • Huawei denies involvement in buggy Linux kernel patch proposal [Ed: ZDNet has found another subtle way to insinuate Linux is not secure]

            Huawei says employee submitted code as part of a personal project, not on behalf of the company.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Spurred by low adoption of its app, Singapore introduces highly-invasive, mandatory COVID-19 surveillance

              According to the report, Singapore’s TraceTogether app has only been downloaded by 20-25% of the population. Estimates for the effective adoption rate range from 56% to as high as 80%. Seeing its tracing app fall on deaf ears, Singapore is introducing a new SafeEntry operation, which requires users to check-in to busy public places using either a national form of ID, or by scanning a QR code with their phone.

              [...]

              The full list of places where the technology must be deployed includes workplaces, schools, universities and pre-schools, healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, hairdressers, supermarkets, malls, and hotels. commuters are even being sold to scan QR codes in taxis when taking “street-hail trips”. Retail outlets are being encouraged, but not required to deploy the technology.

              The stark news highlights how contact tracing by way of an app may not be effective without mass adoption, and paints a harrowing picture of the invasive lengths Singapore seems to be willing to stretch to in order to control the pandemic.

            • NSO Group Pitched Phone Hacking Tech to American Police

              NSO Group, the surveillance vendor best known for selling hacking technology to authoritarian governments, including Saudi Arabia, also tried to sell its products to local U.S. police, according to documents obtained by Motherboard.

              The news provides the strongest evidence yet of NSO’s attempt to enter the U.S. market, and shows apparent appetite from U.S. police for such tools, with one law enforcement official describing the hacking technology as “awesome.”

              “Turn your target’s smartphone into an intelligence gold mine,” a brochure for the hacking product, called Phantom, reads. The brochure was made by Westbridge Technologies, “the North American branch of NSO Group,” it says. Motherboard obtained the document and related emails through a public records act request.

              In August 2016, a Westbridge employee emailed the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) offering more information on Phantom, “a mobile intelligence system that would be a great addition to your investigative and special support offices.” After remotely hacking the phone, Phantom can siphon a target’s emails, text messages, and contact list, as well track their location, turn on the device’s microphone and take photos with its camera, according to the brochure.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wild giant panda spotted in SW China’s closed mining area

          Staff also found pictures and videos of the golden monkey, the gnu, the forest musk deer, the Chinese monal and the blood pheasant. The latter two were spotted by cameras in the reserve for the first time.

          Mianzhu authorities have shut down all the 243 mines on the mineral-rich Jiudingshan Mountain where mining activities had taken a toll on the environment. Yet an area of more than 100,000 square meters has become green again.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Watchdog slams EU agency for letting boss join lobby group

        The EU’s banking regulator should have stopped its executive director from joining a financial lobbying association, the European ombudsman said Monday.

        Emily O’Reilly’s verdict came after an inquiry into Adam Farkas’ exit from the European Banking Authority to become chief executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

        “Public authorities cannot allow themselves to become proxy recruiters for the industries they are regulating,” the Irishwoman said in a statement.

        The ombudsman presented two findings of maladministration by the EBA.

        The first is the regulator should have “forbidden the job move.”

        The agency also failed to immediately block Farkas’ access to confidential information when it learned of his new career plans on August 1. It was only from October 31 that he was kept out of the regulator’s policy and supervisory work.

        The regulator prohibited Farkas from contacting the agency’s staff for 24 months after joining AFME, where he started work in February. The Hungarian is also blocked from personally lobbying for the banking industry for 18 months.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Chagos islanders’ exile is ongoing breach of human rights, court told

        Denying exiled Chagos islanders the right to return to their homes on the Indian Ocean archipelago is a continuing breach of their human rights and not just a historical injustice, the court of appeal has been told.

        The claim was made on Tuesday in the first legal battle over the territory in a British courtroom since the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled last year that the UK’s assertion of sovereignty was illegal.

        The latest challenge has been brought on behalf of two former Chagos residents. Solange Hoareau, who was born on the island of Diego Garcia and transported to the Seychelles in the early 1970s, has never received any compensation for her exile. The other claimant, Olivier Bancoult, the leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, who now lives in Mauritius, was born on the island of Peros Banhos in the archipelago.

        The UK government refers to the islands as a British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Between 1,500 and 2,000 native islanders were forcibly deported in the early 1970s so that the largest island, Diego Garcia, could be leased to the US to use as an airbase. They have never been allowed to return home.

        By a majority of 13 to one, the ICJ – , the United Nation’s highest court, found that the UK’s decolonisation of Mauritius, of which the Chagos Islands were originally a part, had not been lawfully completed. It said the islands must be handed back to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible”.

      • Online Voting Has Worked So Far. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe

        WEST VIRGINIA STATE delegate Eric Porterfield is blind and usually votes at a polling place using an accessible voting machine. He would need assistance to fill out a regular mail-in paper ballot, reducing his ability to keep his votes private. But thanks to a state law passed in January to address accessible remote voting, Porterfield has a new alternative for his state’s June 9 primary. For the first time, he plans to submit his absentee ballot online.

        “The gold standard for you or me or anyone is to be able to fulfill our constitutional right to vote by private ballot,” Porterfield says.

        The Covid-19 pandemic has made internet voting options more tempting than ever for election officials across the US. But election integrity advocates and security experts continue to warn that remote digital voting systems, whether mobile apps or cloud portals, do not have strong enough security guarantees for prime time. On Friday, a group of federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Election Assistance Commission sent a risk assessment to states, warning that “electronic ballot return technologies are high-risk even with controls in place.”

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